1000 KCAL: The total calorie burn some fitness fiends target during a workout on an AirBike. You can aim lower. Or higher, if pain’s your thing.
Fat Loss: “The AirBike is best for intervals,” says PT Faisal Abdalla. “The harder you work, the more resistance you face.” This torches calories fast, but the total burn is lower.
Celebrity endorsement: It has Chris Hemsworth’s approval: “I love the AirBike. It’s savage, especially in a Tabata.” Hemsworth is proof of Abdalla’s point – you can burn fat without muscle loss.
Muscles that it targets: Shoulders, triceps, quads and hamstrings.
Cardio: “It’s amazing for building aerobic capacity without impacting on muscle,” says Abdalla. Going hard on intervals will build speed endurance, so you can go faster for longer.
Star player: Assault Fitness AirBike ($1299; gymandfitness.com.au)
The Assault’s frame is built to last from full-tensile steel, with sealed cartridge bearings on all moving parts.
12.8 sec: In 2017, strongman Brian Shaw rowed 100m in under 13 seconds, beating the world record at the time. It was his first attempt.
Fat loss: “The rower is low impact,” says Abdalla, “so it’s ideal if you’re a novice, have more time and want to burn more calories.” Row in your lunch hour and you can cull about 700kcal.
Celebrity endorsement: Gerard Butler credits the ergo for his Spartan abs as Leonidas in 300. “I went nuts for a couple of weeks on the rower while filming,” Butler said. “It made a huge difference.”
Muscles that it targets: Back, biceps, quads, core.
Cardio: “The rower’s better for endurance exercises,” says Abdalla. “But it requires more technique than an AirBike.” Stay on form and you’ll build serious stamina – both physical and mental.
Star player: Concept2 Model D ($1595; concept2.com.au) Recognised by pro rowers as the gold standard for indoor training, the Model D is compact and mobile enough to fit in any garage gym.
The MH verdict: ROWER WINS!
First, know that you can buy them together for less than the price of a gym-standard treadmill. But, should you have room for just one in your life, the rower’s greater versatility – from brutal intervals to grit-your-teeth slogs – makes it the smarter buy if you want to pull towards a fitter, leaner body.